BF ANNIE RIX MILITZ Class Book. Copyright N?_ COPYRIGHT DEPOSIT. Writings be Aroti* Six iltlii? Spiritual Housekeeping . . $ .50 Primary Lessons in Christian Liv- ing and Healing . . .1.00 Sermon on the Mount . . .50 Wonderful Wishers of Wishing Well .... All Things Are Possible . None of These Things Move Me I Am Myself . (ttnnmttratum in X\\t luBg ©ft 5fam fork 2ttp Abflnlut* JJreoa 1910 .-Mb 32s Copyright, 1910, by A. R. Milits Ube Urow press "Hew BJorfe ©«427ffa M INTRODUCTION TT has been claimed by certain occult teachers that one cannot advance in spiritual life so long as one is in business or in any way engaged in material affairs. This is one of those half truths that so often discourage the young student and cause him to take fanatical steps or utterly abandon the pursuit of the spir- itual life through believing it is not for him. It is true that one who is given over to money-getting or men- tally enslaved to drudgery cannot expect to attain heavenly heights. Indeed, he is not seeking such attainment. But the one who does desire it should realize that he can begin just where he is, and can make his work a mighty means of advancement, turning it from being a hindrance into a stepping-stone. His mind must be set right regarding his work until all sense of its burden and materiality has passed away, and those features in it that are untrue, dishonest, and unworthy of a man of God have been redeemed. Man decides the nature of work, making it noble or degrading according to his attitude in it and toward it. Any work that is 3 Spiritual Housekeeping for the good of humanity, even the most menial, can be elevated by the workman who serves the divine One in all. The following talks upon housework and its meaning in the spiritual life apply to all manner of work. The topic, House- keeping, is chosen to make the application less abstract, but those who can read between the lines can see themselves all house- keepers, men as well as women; the women of leisure as well as . the busy housewives, all keepers of the temple of God. Your body is your house; your mentality is your garden; your character is your earth. All these are subject to your spirit, the Master of the House. In this temple-house of God your thoughts and feelings as well as the members of your body can hold devotional services daily by doing all things for the Lord only. There is no piece of work but what may be a sacrament and an opportunity for bringing forward the high and holy One who is on His way proving Him- self All in All. As this study upon concentration is presented under the head- ings of the days of the week a word as to the significance of this division of time will not be amiss. The formation of the seven-day week, while having a certain natural cause in the changing phases of the moon f these liavebeen 4 Spiritual Housekeeping arbitrarily numbered four, whereas there could be as many phases as a compass has points), is essentially religious, and symbolizes a perfect round of devotion. Among the pagans the days were consecrated to the gods of the seven planets: Sun, Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn, but among the Israelites, the God-illumined people, they were devoted to the One. It is ancient teaching that there are seven aspects of Deity ftlte seven spirits or angels J and that Man, as the image of God, is a sevenfold being. The Bible teems with symbols of seven in connection with God, from the seven days of Genesis to the seven angels of Revelation. When the seer who gave us the account of creation in Genesis described his vision he presented the different manifestations or aspects of God's presence in the terms of days of the week. These are given as sequential stages, but spiritual perception reveals God as ever creating or manifesting Himself in all His aspects simultaneously, as seven rays of light are flashed at once from a fixed star. The old belief that God created a world in a week and then abandoned it to its fate, as a clockmaker might do with a clock, is passing away, and spiritual reasoning portrays the omnipresent changeless God as ever manifesting His wholeness throughout eternity. 5 Spiritual Housekeeping Each day of the seven is a period of illumination from and upon one of the aspects of our divinity. Therefore to fill a week with right meditation is to have a rounded period of enlighten- ment concerning one's own true Being . For this reason a week of concentration practices is described. Continuation in these practices must eventually reveal the Su- preme Master enthroned within the devotee, who, when acknowl- edged and obeyed will keep the mind poised and strong in perfect power of concentration without effort and finally without prac- tice. Annie Rix Militz. Sierra Madre, California. January, iqio. SPIRITUAL HOUSEKEEPING THE FIRST DAY Sunday— *Rest Day ^•fc^HIS is the day of beginnings, wherein we take ■ *\ a fresh start. " Old things are passed away; ^^^^ behold, I make all things new." It is the res- urrection day, this Sabbath of the Christians, and it was chosen to take the place of the old Jewish Sabbath for the benefit of the early Christian con- verts, who still clung to the idea that one day must be esteemed especially holy, and could not receive the liberty of the Christ, who knows all days to be alike holy. The seventh day was the Sabbath of the old dispen- sation; the first day is the Sabbath of the new. This day will continue to be set apart so long as men feel work to be a burden and a curse, and so long as men work for 7 SPIRITUAL something and some one else besides the ideal. But to him who has found the truth that work is joy, and activ- ity which blesses others is ever divine, there is no need of a special day of rest, for he rests in working, never know- ing weariness or bondage. "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath " (Mark ii, 27), and was intended from the first to be a reminder to man that " there remaineth a rest for him," a final attainment of perpetual rest in the midst of, and one with, ceaseless activity— the divine paradox, identity of rest and activity. The spiritual quality for which each day stands per- meates and fills all the other days in the well-ordered, harmonious life. The Sunday is the day of serenity, still- ness, poise, repose, and these qualities in truth over- shadow and bless all the week days. Sunday's word is Peace. " Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee " (Is. xxvi, 3). " For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel : In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and confidence is your strength " (Is. xxx, 15). Early Sunday morning let us fill our hearts with meditation upon Peace, and let the thought run all through our week that all our activities shall begin with 8 HO USEKEEPING Peace. The first practice of right concentration is the stilling of the mind. The human mentality is like a mirror whose reflections can be perfect only as the mir- ror is still; or like a lake, which must be smooth and still, without a ripple, in order to reflect the objects upon its surface. "*** — "" Sabbath stillness should begin every day— not plan- ning and hurrying with sense of so much to do and so little time to do it in. Five minutes with this Truth of God, that all things are now done and finished in the divine Mind ; that there is nothing to do, no one to set right, no problems to solve, will work like a charm upon your faculties, and, instead of being tired even when you begin your day, everything will work so smoothly, fairly " doing themselves," that when evening comes you will be just as fresh as you were in the morning, and you will lay your head upon your pillow like a baby, which has no sense of weariness, but only readiness for refreshing Let us remember : Every day is a fresh beginning, Every morn is the world made new. The great Creator of all that really is ever creates and manifests true Being, which is bright and fresh and 9 SPIRITUAL new; nothing is stale or dull in God's world. This source of your originality, invention, and skill is your divinity. " All things were made by him ; and without him was not anything made that was made" (John i,3). "And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good " (Gen. i, 31). From these statements of Scripture we logically conclude that that which is not good is not really made— all that offends, the corrupt, the decaying, the ugly and the inharmonious are outside the realm of the true (Matt, xiii, 41). The newness of God's kingdom we indicate by array- ing ourselves in new, fresh garments on Sunday, and while we don these our silent prayer can be worded, "Behold! I make all things new." New garments typify new minds, new hearts, new bodies. The New Man of the resurrection is the theme for concentration on the First Day of this holy week— the new creature whose formation or regeneration is not with striving and hard work, but in peace and by inspiration. Sunday is the day of light and brightness, as the name signifies. Sabbaths are a thing of the past, " an abomi- nation unto me; . . . even the solemn meetings" (Is.i,i3). 10 HOUSEKEEPING Each day of the week is named after a god who it was believed presided over a planet. Sunday is the day of the sun, Monday, the day of the moon, Saturday, the day of Saturn. In our meditations we will sail our men- tal ships upon the current of these ancient beliefs, for even our work of to-day is arranged along the lines of these pagan devotions. And we will take these symbols out of the darkness and superstition of paganism into the light of truth. Thus, the sun stands for the one God, the universal Good, who is the real light of the world. 11 Ye are the light of the world," the sun of righteousness with healing in its beams. Sunday's work is like the shining of the sun, which fructifies and blesses by simply being, without strife or effort. So the inspiration and the joy of truth redeem us from the curse associated with work, and all we do is accomplished by the divine One within us. " My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." " Sanctify my Sabbaths." We fulfill the spirit of the fourth commandment by making every day holy unto the Lord, knowing it is lawful to do good every day, and that all days are the Lord's Day. Like yeast in the flour, so shall the ideal day of union between rest and work leaven all the days. Already here is a perpetual Sab- bath observed the world around, for : SPIRITUAL Christians worship God on Sunday, Grecian zealots hallow Monday, Tuesday, Persians spend in prayer, Assyrians, Wednesday revere. Egyptians, Thursday ; Friday, Turks, On Saturday, no Hebrew works. But as the true worshipers worship God in Spirit and in truth every day of the week so the First Day simply becomes a time to express that worship in a certain way, the Second Day in another way, and so on through the Sacred Seven. The true holy day is a holiday, a time for recreation, a time to realize the innocence of pleasure, and to know that all real enjoyment is spiritual. Knowledge of Truth enters us into the Spirit of work and play alike, and then whatever we do glorifies God and honors man. It is said that Jesus, one day, seeing a man working on the Sabbath, said to him, " Man, if thou knowest what thou doest, blessed art thou. But if thou knowest not what thou doest, cursed art thou, and a transgressor of the law." Paul expresses somewhat of the same idea, " Happy is he who condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth " (Rom. xiv, 22). Throughout Sunday let your practice of concentration be serenity, oneness of mind; let a radiance of peace HOUSEKEEPING fill your aura. Excitable natures often find it difficult to concentrate; such should consciously have a Sabbath- calm some part of every day. 'A lady who was all wrought up one day in the midst of moving out of a house while some one else was mov- ing in at the same time, and whose goods must be removed within a short space of time, recognized that she had reached the place where distraction and confu- sion were holding carnival in her mentality, and delib- erately she dropped everything, and calmly sat down in the midst of the confusion, and for five minutes withdrew her mind utterly from her surroundings, turning to the Spirit with the words, " Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee." The rest and re- cuperation of those five minutes were beyond description. She arose a new woman, with fresh powers, and her whole work was transformed. You whose muscles become tense, whose nerves get on edge, relax often, let go, remember your divine Being, as you silently and slowly breathe these words : " The serene, calm, restful, trustful Self now accomplishes everything in and through me perfectly and without effort." Look not into the future, dwell not upon the past. The present is the only time with Spirit. Train your 13 SPIRITUAL HOUSEKEEPING thoughts to remain in the present and not stand a-tiptoe peering into the future, and hopping about from one wornout subject to another. Then your plans will come through your prophetic sense, then your reviews will have a profitable bearing upon the present. Dignity and majesty mark the nature whose power of concentration is perfect. Get withal childlike and simple, with a joy that gives no reason for being— plasticity and stability united. Let the endless sabbath of your soul baptize your whole being and give a holy gladness to every day of the year. H m THE SECOND DAY Monday— Freedom Day 'ONDAY is the day of the moon, shown in the derivation of the word not only in the English language, but also in the French, Landi, and the German, Montag. It therefore belongs to the traditions of our ancestors that this day, being de- voted to the goddess who presided over the moon and thence over the waters of the earth, is the lucky day upon which to engage in the employments associated with water. Hence, Monday, the world around, is " wash day." It is a scientific fact that the waters of the great oceans are governed by the moon, as demon- strated in the tides, and the alchemists held that the very moisture of the human body came under its influence. And now we come to the significance of water, and to that of which we can be reminded every Monday in our concentration practice. Water symbolizes the great negative power of the Spirit, the power of annulling and destroying evil. Water has had an important part in the rites of all the is SPIRITUAL great religions, as witness the baptisms, holy water, and feet-washings of the Christians, the lustrations of the Essenes, the sacred baths of the Hindus, the purifica- tion waters of the Hebrews. Water stands for the loosening, cleansing, and free- ing power of Truth. The denials of Christian meta- physics have this effect, and mental washing is accom- plished by the free use of the word of denial. The affirmations of Truth, such as " God the Good is all there is," and " I am one with God, therefore I am spiritual and immortal, pure and perfect Being," and "All the presence and power there is is Health, Love, Life, Wisdom, Peace, and Prosperity," have the effect of establishing and confirming our consciousness in and of Truth. But sometimes false beliefs are in the way, and it is needful that they be removed in order to make room for the grand affirmations of Spirit. An old untrue supposition about life is like an old building that stands upon the ground where we desire to construct a new one. To attempt to realize these new true statements of life while still clinging to our old views is like trying to erect a new building over the old. Certain students of Truth have attempted this, and then they wonder why their affirmations do not heal and bring them their desires. 16 HOUSEKEEPING Let us learn to clear out the old accumulations of false thoughts by the right use of denials. Good judgment must be exercised with the words of denial, just as the good laundress has common sense in the use of water. Some denial statements are strong, such as " There is no evil," " There is no personality," " There is no matter," and the effect is often quick, and there also seems a great stir and dust, and the appearance for the time being is that evil is more real than ever, selfishness is rife, and materiality rampant. So it is when an old structure is being torn down; if quick and strong ways and means are used the ground, covered with debris, looks hopeless except to the builder. "And they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend," said that Master- Builder, Jesus the Christ. Certain denials are tempered in their expression, such as " There is no reality in evil," and " sin has no real power"; " nothing is material, all is mind"; "God never made disease, therefore it is not an entity " ; " in heaven there is no sorrow, no pain, no poverty, and heaven is here." And the wise practitioner will apply them to the states of mind where the more drastic forms might be antagonizing. The skillful housewife does not pour boiling water upon the flannel garments, nor use strong soaps with delicate fabrics. *7 SPIRITUAL The correspondence between water and the great negative announcements of Truth is perfect. The words which describe water are negative : pure water is color- less, odorless, tasteless. Like the moon her patroness, water is a good reflector— a mirror is a good reflector when it is nothing of itself. The negative mentality— called the mortal or carnal mind— is at its best when, like pure, still water, it is a clear reflector of the ideas held over it. Herein, according to the Hindu teaching of Yoga, is a key to the power of perfect concentration. The turbid, restless mentality must become clear and quiet, like the stormy waves of Galilee when calmed by the Master's command, " Peace! be still." The virgin Diana was the Greek goddess of the moon, pure, chaste, and cold. The life of denial makes the ascetic. The true Christian is not an ascetic only, but, while all pure within, she is clothed with the warm fructi- fying Sun, putting the Moon-nature (ascetic and psychic) under her feet, "a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet " (Rev. xii, i). The same truth is embodied in the symbol- ism of the " wedding at Cana of Galilee " (John ii, i-ii). When the Christ is an invited guest at the true wedding of the positive and negative elements of our nature He turns the cold, sterile waters of our old faith, found in 18 HOUSEKEEPING the purification jars of the old religion, into the warm, exhilarating wine of the Spirit which we drink anew with the Christ in the kingdom of heaven within. All our life can be this marriage feast, where we are making the union between the positive good of our spiritual Being and the negative good of our earthly experiences. The Christ can be our perpetual guest, ever changing the water of our barren commonplace work into the wine of ecstatic communion with God. Let us know no drudgery, nothing common or unclean. Teach me, my God and King, In all things Thee to see, And what I do in anything To do it as for Thee. All may of Thee partake, Nothing can be so mean Which with this tincture (for Thy sake) Will not grow bright and clean. A servant with this clause Makes drudgery divine ; Who sweeps a room, as for Thy laws, Makes that and the action fine. — George Herbert. Thus let us approach all the uses of water. We may not all serve by washing clothes, but we are using water SPIRITUAL in multifold other ways, washing dishes, watering plants, giving drink to animals, bathing the children or ourselves, and so forth. The thought to associate with water is Freedom. This is the word for Monday. Early in the morning your devotions can begin with your bath. Then you can realize the work the Spirit is doing for you in cleansing and freeing you from the thoughts and feelings that distract and interfere with your peace and power of concentration. At this time you can silently voice your desires for freedom as al- ready accomplished in the divine Mind : " The Spirit now sets me free from all that binds and clogs; I am cleansed from every impure suggestion; the Truth loosens from me every burden; I am free from selfishness; I am free from jealousy, bitterness, and so forth." Full freedom springs from within. It is the freedom that gives freedom to others. Therefore, what we declare and wish for ourselves let us seek to make manifest for others. When Jesus washed the feet of his disciples he indi- cated the power he was exercising through his silent word. He followed the act with the definite statement as to what was the real cleansing power. 20 HOUSEKEEPING " Now are ye clean through the words which I have spoken unto you." The Spiritual householder and housekeeper fulfills a like office for all that come under her charge or even into her mind— her family is the whole race —silently speaking the cleansing word as she goes about her daily work. As the clothes are gathered together to be washed realize that garments stand for the thoughts, words, ideas that clothe the I Am. We read in Scripture of the garments of praise, of righteousness, of " purple and fine linen," signifying external power and the outer form of purity. Again, the clothing can mean to us character, traits, habits; some fine, some strong, some durable — every garment fit to wear has some virtue in it that can be applied to the inner nature. The family wash typifies the process of freeing the family from false beliefs, and as the concentrated worker applies herself she can realize that it is the Spirit that is doing this work, and it is not a mere matter of muscle and physical hard work. Remember to let God work through you, and mark the new features that will come into your work, the skill, the ease, the good judgment with which you will uplift what has been a laborious task. SPIRITUAL We are now redeeming " blue Monday," that state of exhaustion, depression, and gloom which so often fol- lowed a Sunday in which the clergyman of the old school made such an intellectual effort that " brain-fag " laid him low, or he gave sermons which were such a strain upon his feelings (his inspiration being so largely through his psychic senses and the whole sustained by a strenu- ous working of human will) that depletion almost to nervous prostration followed, and all his family were covered and saturated with his heavy and exhausted aura. The maids reflected the heads of the household with irritated and impatient feelings, and with words that have given wash-day a bad reputation, even in such old folk-songs as The little kittens on the hearth They dare not even play, For it's up with a thump and many a bump All on a washing-day. It's scold, scold, it's thump, thump, It 's scold, scold away And not a bit of comfort here, All on a washing-day. To such mentalities the word " freedom " applied to wash-day seems veritable irony. Yet here is rich soil in which to plant our seed of freedom-thought. Duty- HOUSEKEEPING sense makes bondage —doing things because one is duty-bound. Let us bring forth the love-thought, and dismiss forever that false cause, duty. You are free Spirit, and there is a deep, true love-reason back of all that you do. Find it. When we see that there is some- \ thing within us that loves to serve, and that work is best ) done by inspiration, not effort, then we also find an original and initiative Spirit with us, and all manner of devices and labor-saving ways and means spring up in our minds. So labor grows light in every Way, and the blueness of Monday scintillates with starry hopes, and merry songs and tripping steps make a holiday of what was once a hard labor day. The same joy and freedom that marks the work of the happy laundress can be ours, and all the sting and weariness pass away. Let me say, right here, to the suggestion that one might become fixed in material work by being content with it that it is a fact of observation that in almost every instance where rebellion has ceased because of principle, and where work which chafed has become nothing to one, it passes utterly out of one's experience and never enters again except it be by one's deliberate choice. And now, dear Martha of the family, let Mary's good part enter into your work. Wash away the family sins by the power of the Christ-life working through you. 23 SPIRITUAL HOUSEKEEPING " Though your sins be as scarlet they shall be white as snow " (Is. i, 18). But for the most part the family sins are not the deep-dyed ones, but the errors are worriment and fear, tempers, common selfishness, quarreling, unkind teasing, tardiness, disobedience, forgetfulness — bad habits which demand daily correcting until the higher Self is invoked and trusted. Each garment that is handled can remind one of a word of Truth to be spoken for its owner. As you wash little Johnny's stock- ings you will see how the Spirit is working within him to give the love of being helpful and thoughtful for others ; as you wash little Mary's apron, that habit of careless- ness and untidiness will receive its cleansing and come forth the clean garment of a spontaneous orderliness that will charm while yet years rest lightly upon her. Great can be the ministry of the household priest and savior if she will, like Mary, sit at the feet of Truth and remember that whatever she gives and does for anyone in the name of the Christ she gives and does to the Christ within herself —so entering and abiding perpetu- ally in the kingdom of heaven while here on the earth. " Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." " If the Son [the Truth] therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." 24 THE THIRD DAY Tuesday— The Lc<Je "Day M^t^SHE origin of the Anglo-Saxon name of the third a C\ day of the week is Tiwes, the fire god of our ^^^^ Teutonic ancestors, the same as the war god of the Greeks and Romans, Mars, from whose name the French word for Tuesday is derived, that is, Mardi. In the olden time the god of fire was also the god of war, wrath, revenge, and destruction, and even to-day the astrologer enlarges upon the fighting, raging, stinging influences of the planet Mars, although he acknowledges there is a propitious, even beneficent, aspect of this star that is expressed as energy, refining power, skill, and zeal. Fire symbolizes Love. The Hebrews described their God as " a consuming fire " (Deut. iv, 24), and St. John said, " God is love " (I John iv, 8). The primitive concept of the divine passion was based upon the belief in the reality of both good and evil, therefore supreme Love implied and included extreme 25 SPIRITUAL hatred, and if aught opposed or disobeyed the God-love it then became God-wrath, which burned with equal in- tensity. And in the dark days of their disobedience and sin the children of Israel imaged only the fierce anger of their God, so suffering torment, disease, and defeat until Christ came, teaching a God of love in whom was no wrath at all. The destructive nature of fire portrays the former idea of holy Love, destroying all that is not like itself —selfishness, corruption, whatever is offensive and useless. This aspect of the God-love is called hell fire in the New Testament—" gehenna," from the garbage- burning outside the walls of the city, Jerusalem. Into this were cast certain of the refuse of the city, especially from the sacrificial animals, and also the dead bodies of criminals. All applications of fire by the spiritual householder can be compared to the workings of Love in the realm of appearances. Often we make holocausts of the things which we see should cease to cumber our earth, like old letters and relics. If there are associations of sadness, regrets, mourning and evil memories, then as the flames consume the pile let the heart breathe, " Thus love dis- sipates all memory of evil," recollecting that all the hap- piness connected with these is eternal and self -renewing, to be finally manifest with no mixture of sin or sorrow. 26 HO USEKEEPING Again, when the dust heap is burning the weeds from the garden, and other forms of rubbish, then our silent prayer can be of acknowledgment of the inner fire of God's love able to destroy each false trait of character, naming them specifically. Our pagan ancestors gave us this custom of devoting Tuesday to using the element that belonged to Mars, the god of that day. Let us devote it to the real God of all days, and let every use of fire be to us symbolic of the Spirit's work of love. Monday is wash day, Tuesday is ironing day. The clothes in drying have been bathed in sunshine and air, types of universal love and inspiration, and as they are gathered together and sorted the angel within whispers to us of its mission of harvesting (Matt, xiii, 38, 39), sepa- rating ^the tares from the wheat. Some garments are like conventional beliefs, all stiff with pride and self-assertiveness, and so needing the sprinkling of the gentle waters of humility, preparatory to the refining, polishing work of love to round the character. Asceticism, like a severe washing, leaves some natures dry and withered, others harsh and " scratchy " with criticism, and only a new baptism of meekness and a strong and skillful application of the smoothing iron of 27 SPIRITUAL love can make them comfortable to contact. " Thee must be dipped again," an old Quaker used to say to certain of his Christian brothers whose zeal was awry, " Thee must be dipped again! " The flatiron stands for the word of the Spirit, our silent voicing of Truth. As the iron presses and gives the shine, we can remember the power of love to har- monize and smooth the ways of the family. Some natures are happy and useful "rough-dry"; though blunt and outspoken, not given to conventionalities, they are clean-minded: and wise is the house mother who knows how to be content to have such natures about, not finding fault because they do not receive the polish of which other natures are capable. Then there are those whose positiveness in truth must be established because they seem limp and weak in their self-depreciation. As some stiffly starched garment is being ironed for them tell them of the courageous, strong self within them, able to go forward truly and wisely. But perhaps another may be too assertive, then the skillful flatiron of the Word can round the sharp corners and gently bring to mind the unobtrusive Christ-Self that is there. As the delicate and beautiful have their part in the harmonious home, and require skillful handling with intelligence, so there are temperaments, like filmy lace 28 HOUSEKEEPING and silken mesh, that seem impractical and sentimental, and yet have a deep, rich presence which, rightly appre- ciated, would be the lasting joy of the family. Sensitive children, like woollen garments, should re- ceive considerate treatment, not scorching by injudicious counsel or untimely and excessive punishment. Every nature and disposition in a family is repre- sented in the garments, and the consecrated worker, intent on carrying the good news, will find a message to deliver with every piece that is ironed. When building a fire, meditation upon the encour- agement of the interior nature is in place. Faith in human nature may seem cold and weak, and there needs to be a patient upbuilding and persistent lighting from the stores of love. Sometimes a fire will not burn because ashes lie accumulated, or the flues are choked with soot. So, unforgiveness, disappointed ambitions, unrequited loves seem to prevent inspiration and free realization, and as the ashes are removed let us perceive the power of the Spirit to remove all old thoughts that interfere with its currents of blessing, and to burn up the soot of materialism, doubts, procrastination, impurity and impatience. There are the lamps to be cleaned and filled. The Wise Virgins of the parable give us the clew to this work, 39 SPIRITUAL as it is in the Spirit. The oil for their lamps (Matt, xxv, 4) was kept in plentiful supply, so that when the bride- groom — the cosmic consciousness— came, though in a way and at a time unlooked for, they were ready. In the regeneration the illumination that we have within must receive daily reenforcement through prayer and communion with God, and the wick of our Soul's lamp must be kept free from old accretions of deadness and obtuseness through fasting from those material pursuits and sense-pleasures which make us forget God and fall into unlovely ways. As the globes are dusted or cleansed think of how they represent the body, which by right thought is pure and true, so that the light of the Soul is seen clearly shining through. Love keeps the furnace of God's dwelling house steady in its genial hospitality, tempered in its zeal, uni- versal in its comfort. The faithful heart that is janitor and stoker receives appreciation and honor from the mind that exalts all service to the holy place. All in the family contribute in some way to the love and harmony that warms and cheers, from the little lad who fills the wood box to the father, who, standing for the great Source of supply, pays the bills of gas and electricity, wood and coal. When the heat of the day, or of the stove, or of un- 30 HOUSEKEEPING usual work, seems to press upon one, then is the time to realize oneself the crucible in the magic laboratory of the Spirit where divine alchemy is redeeming some grossness and transmuting it into the fine gold of high and noble character. By calm cooperation with the heat it will never overpower you, but will find you vibrating evenly with it, not fainting but exhilarate, not exhausted but uplifted and inspired. This fierce influence has been called the anger of the Lord, but the wrath of God is passing into myth through the knowledge of the Love which is God; and our human anger, impatience, and irritability shall pass away through being lifted up into our God-self in such trying moments, so letting serenity reign supreme. The homely tasks of ironing day may be marked by an occasional burn upon the body while yet we are in the days of our spiritual greenness, and then comes an opportunity for one of those demonstrations which in its simplicity and completeness is such a convincing proof of the power of mind. Perceiving instantly : " The flesh feels nothing— it is the mind that feels, and I am Spirit, and cannot be burned," is to be delivered from the pain and blister, and to see wholeness and freedom in place of sores and scars. A student of Truth who kept a restaurant in San Diego, California, covered her hand 31 SPIRITUAL with scalding potato soup as she was moving a kettle of it, full to the brim, from one part of the range to another. The cook and waitresses who witnessed it were filled with horror, and in a panic began running for flour and oil to assuage the burning, but the lady calmly wiped the potato off her hand, refusing their remedies with a smile, saying, " I have better medicine within me." Standing still, and lifting her thoughts above her surroundings, she remembered, "I am Spirit, Mind, above all this, and nothing shall by any means harm me," and the burning sensation wholly passed away in a few minutes. Then she looked at her hand which had become a fiery red and saw that it was beginning to blister, and instantly she reasoned, " The same power that delivered me from the pain now keeps my hand from blistering," and all the redness and blistering disappeared. The afternoon of that same day she showed me the hand as white and whole as the other, while a waitress standing by said, " Yes, and I saw it, and it was wonderful! I am going to look into this new teaching." What a lesson was given there ! It could not soon be forgotten. "Love lightens labor" is an old maxim, and how true it is many a devotee to " New Thought " can testify. Weariness takes to itself wings. The hard task grows easy, the burden becomes light, as service to humanity 32 HOUSEKEEPING is seen to be service to God, and that everything is an opportunity to rise above the belief in slavery and bond- age to the flesh, and enter into the original, magical power of The Word, when to speak our wish is to see even things inanimate as well as animate respond with loving eagerness, hastening to do our pleasure, as the listening winds and waves joyed in quick obedience to the voice of the Master of Love who proved by a life of perfect service that " All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." 33 THE FOURTH DAY X&ednesday — T&JUdom Day ^l^fc^HE aspect of divinity which the middle day M C\ of the week presents is that of the power of ^^^/ thought from the heights of intelligence called Wisdom, and the works which are the con- sequence of it. The word Wednesday is derived from Woden, the chief god of our Anglo-Saxon ancestors. His character, office, and functions were much the same as the Roman god, Mercury, called by the Greeks, Hermes, and by the Egyptians, Thoth, the deity that presided over thoughts, and the works of thought. The Latin races obtain their name for this day from the god Mercury, as in the French, Mercredi. To those who have been making the powers and na- ture of mind an ardent study Wednesday offers mani- fold suggestion about thought and its creative aspects. Under the old gods thought has a subtle history, and there are marvelous tales of the magical quickness of Mercury, this fleet message-bearer of the gods. 34 SPIRITUAL HOUSEKEEPING " Quick as a thought " is our superlative for speed. We call quicksilver mercury, because of its movement, and the first characteristic of the planet Mercury is its swift revolution about the sun. The mercurial tempera- ment among the people of the United States, bright, alert, sprightly, has been held by astrologers to be proof that this country is ruled beneficently by the planet Mercury. All these intimations we can, like Mary, " ponder in our hearts " while remembering the Christ that redeems these attributes from their old perversions for which Mercury was notorious among the gods, thieving, mis- chief-making, cunning, fickleness, and double-dealing. With winged head and feet, bearing the mystic rod, serpent-entwined, Mercury well symbolizes our myste- rious thinking power. But as the gods dwelt among the clouds and seldom favored mortals with their gifts, so thought has been, in the centuries past, relegated by the majority to the realm of fancy and untrained imagina- tion, and only as the one God, the Christ-Self, redeems the thinking faculty from its falsities and impositions can it be reinstated, and come to its original recognition as to place and power. Under the guidance of the Christ human thought is purified, lifted into the realm of divin- ity and made an instrument for the establishing of the Kingdom of Heaven on the earth. 35 SPIRITUAL As one with intelligence all expression is possible to the thought of man. Wisdom and creation are one in the divine realm, " The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth" (Prov. iii, 19). " O Lord, how manifold are thy works ! in wisdom thou hast made them all " (Ps. civ, 24) . Because the supreme intention for man is that he shall create, like his Heavenly Father, the progressive races have been imbued with the idea of the necessity of edu- cation, the bringing forth of intelligence from within the child: " The Lord possessed me [Wisdom] in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning or ever the earth was " (Prov. vii, 22, 23). The one appointed to instructing, whether school- teacher, guardian, or parent, should remember that all schooling is for the one end of bringing forth the God- man who walks in the footsteps of the Heavenly Father — " for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise " (John v, 19). Children are our young thoughts —innocent, spirit- ual ideas in their incipiency, only needing faith in them and development through love in order to be the avenue along which can come every blessing to the earth. Wednesday is the day in which to meditate on the per-. 36 HOUSEKEEPING petual creation— one with supreme intelligence. It is sewing day, and new garments are planned and put to- gether. Other days also may be occupied with new cre- ations, and in great variety and diversity from the knit- ting of a sock to the building of a house, yet they can all be viewed in the same light with which we shall consider this day's sewing and mending. Inspiration can be in every piece of our creating through seeking to do it perfectly, for the Truth's sake, and because of the principle within one. Nothing makes the soul so pure, so religious, as the endeavor to create something perfect; for God is perfection, and whoever strives for it, strives for something Godlike.— Michel Angelo. " Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might" (Eccles. ix, 10). Do it with spirit, not because you are obliged to do it, not for money or reward, not for praise, but for your Soul, for the kingdom of heaven's sake. The rich zeal and interest and integrity that you put into your work, when done for Truth's sake, give you a mighty impetus along the lines of your Soul's accom- plishments ; it is laying up heavenly treasures that many a praying recluse is missing in his sense of separation from humanity and indifference to their needs and the service he could render them. 37 SPIRITUAL 11 But how can I be energetic and work with a vim when my body is so heavy and I am so easily exhausted and tired? " cries one who perhaps has bemoaned her " lazi- ness," and suffered acute mortification as her own use- lessness has been contrasted with others' activity. Re- member there are no " lazy " in God's kingdom. Laziness is a disease which is not healed by condemnation, and if we will never accuse another of laziness we will not come under that ban from our own thought or that of others. As one wisely and lovingly seeks a remedy for a disease, so laziness should receive our intelligent and successful healing. The rigor of enforced labor and stinging stripes of others' rebukes and our own self-contempt has only served to make the condition more evident, and it has brought confusion as to judgment in training an inchoate humanity out of its weakness into its strength. Tramps are the offspring of self -ignorance and rebellion against a false civilization. One's body is heavy and lax because the thoughts are material and sensual, or surcharged with anxiety and sense of the reality of evil, or, again, because one has dwelt in dreams and ideals which he has separated from the earth consciousness. Centering the mind in the God-Self in the midst of one and regarding every being in its spirituality and lovableness brings one to the bal- 38 HOUSEKEEPING anced place in the body so that the body is not felt at all, and your activity is as easy and effectual as the resilient step of the youthful foot. If that foot were twisted in its shoe its steps would be halting and painful, and the youth might seem lazy and abnormal until the mistake was corrected and comfort restored. So false views of life, whether they be selfish indulgence of passions, nega- tive wills, or merely not-knowing, twist the mentality, and a new view must be taken for relief. Our bodies are made " to fit "—let us keep a good cen- ter in them through perpetual cooperation with our God- Self. Meet the slightest suggestion of being tired with a spirited " I cannot grow weary in well doing," and never let the tempter suggest " overwork " or " thankless doing," or allow any other thought to crush you with a sense of injustice and wrong. Keep your faith in Good inviolate, it holds the key of perpetual renewal of joy and youthful interest. There is upon Life 's hand a magic ring, The ring of faith-in-good, Life 's gold of gold. Remove it not lest all Life 's charm take wing, Remove it not, lest straightway you behold Life 's cheek fall in and every earthly thing Grow unutterably old. One of the works of the Christ is to give " the gar- ment of praise for the spirit of heaviness " (Is. lxi, 3), to 39 SPIRITUAL raise up those who are cast down, the discouraged, self- depreciative natures, with words of loving interest and approval breathed silently while working upon their gar- ments, and audibly whenever the words can be fitly spoken. This is the day for mending, and the spiritual devotee can remember the power to heal misunderstanding as her needle joins the torn places. Mending the worn parts may stand for the mending of one's ways. As the needle weaves back and forth in darning the heart can cooperate with the Spirit in speaking the word that substitutes strong, positive, wholesome habits for the weakness that is appearing in the one to whom the garment belongs. The dressmaker who will bless her customer while fitting her, and send her messages of peace and goodness while sewing, will prove herself a minister of the gospel without stirring from her workrooms. How often the message of patience and thoughtfulness, of love and har- mony, of satisfaction and poise could transform a trouble- some patron into a happy cooperating sister in Truth ! Mechanical and uninteresting pieces of work be- come alive and even charming as we work blessed reali- zations of Truth into them. A lady who crochets much has learned to find sentences of Truth to take the place of empty counting. Having to make seven stitches very 40 HOUSEKEEPING often in a certain doily, she substituted "God the Good is all there is " for the old monotonous repetition, and it was a joy to her to write this line when sending her gift : "This work comes to you filled with words of Truth, and every stitch carries a blessing and a reminder of the almighty Good that is working in and through our lives." It is this human element of love and goodness that makes hand-wrought articles so much more valuable to the people of taste than the machine-made, soulless and without thought. Our quality is charging all that we contact whether we know it or not, and there are senses in mankind that discern these qualities, and characters can be read from the subtle emanations and vibrations of things that have been in intimate association with them. Letters have revealed the nature of their contents before they are opened, handkerchiefs have shown the secret thoughts of their owners. It was this knowledge that was with the woman who said, " If I may but touch his garment I shall be whole " (Matt, ix, 21). Truly it was her own receptive trust that opened her to the benefit of that touch, for no others of the crowd that pressed upon the Master were healed in that way. The virtue (good- ness) of Jesus Christ has gone forth into all the earth so that he who touches a stone in faith touches God. " Lift the stone, and there am I." 41 SPIRITUAL Everything in your world must be imbued with the best of you. The sewing machine you use can receive your calmness and patience as well as your skill and ex- pedition. You take out of the instruments you use what you put into them. Engineers often feel their locomo- tives to be like living, throbbing, sensitive creatures, re- quiring all the wise handling that must be given a high- mettled horse. Barbers tell of tired razors whose dull edge no honing can make keen. They lay them on the shelf for a week or two and their power is restored. Violins are loved and caressed and made to respond to such sweet harmonies for so long that their very frames become vibrant and sensitive to the most delicate touch and emotions of their loving masters. Flowers grow and flourish under a fond hand that gives something more than fertilizer or other material elements. Domestic animals thrive in the atmosphere of love that reveals something more in them than mere brute creations. The garment that is made over represents the re- forming powers of Truth working with the elements of a character or system at the place where it finds them, and bringing forth a fair work even from material judged hopeless. There is an enthusiasm with some men- talities in exercising their skill to make much out of little; it is akin to that of the magician who with the 42 HOUSEKEEPING wand of his word can bring into appearance that which was invisible, so seeming to make something out of noth- ing. All joy is ours, that of the mind full of devices for remaking, and that of the one who delights in per- fectly new material upon which to exploit his original powers. When engaged in any process of reconstruction let us remember how the body is being transformed by the renewal of the mind. New cells replace the old by the same Breath of Life in whose presence and by whose moving the originals were made manifest. New thoughts make new bodies. Some of the works that engage our interest have come under the ban of uselessness because they have been made for beauty and pleasure, and this day we can re- deem these works by seeing the usefulness of beauty as well as the beauty of usefulness, and that pleasure is life, and one of the chief works of life is to give pleasure. Thus, while trimming a hat one can remember that crown of a glorious life for which it stands ; while dress- ing the hair the thought can dwell on the halo of Spirit whose radiance becomes very visible when the heart is filled with love-memories of our first glory. Jewels stand for the treasures of the Kingdom, the Soul's grace is as an ornament to the neck, diamonds are the em- 43 SPIRITUAL blems of chastity and purity, and often they have been substituted for the consciousness of the reality and brought a quasi-temporal satisfaction. The fancy-work of leisure moments can be redeemed from sense of folly by keeping the imagination (fancy) pure and high at such times, guiding conversation out of meanderings along scandal, malice, and foolish gossip. Much good vacation work can be done by a wholesome mind resting in the midst of the vaporings of mentalities that have not yet "found themselves." The angel- presence of a true thinker on the summer porch or at the winter resort has been the leaven of the Kingdom of Heaven in the meal of negative brain centers, and has brought men and women to themselves, and started them on the way back to their Father's house. Wisdom is strength, folly is weakness. " My people perish for lack of knowledge." Many a frivolous, weak, senseless pursuit will be abandoned, and the dear one arrested from going on a path of degeneracy by reminding him (or her) that such signifies lack of in- telligence. In the Book of Proverbs Wisdom is personified as a woman most desirable for life-companionship, while sense delusion, worldly wisdom, sophistry, maya, the folly of isms— materialism, atheism, sensualism— are 44 HOUSEKEEPING personified as the strange woman that befools the un- wary, and leads them to failure, shame, and misery. If mistakes are made in building, or any other act of construction, waste no time in vain regrets. Speak the word quickly for accuracy and trueness, such as, "The Spirit makes me always sure and true," " I do every- thing exactly right," "Nothing can go wrong, for God makes good." Keep your eye on the true I and you will go where you look. One who was learning to ride the bicycle and whose mind was alert for all the lessons of life found himself continually running into the pillars of the rink where he was being taught. The teacher observing his mistakes called to him, " Young man, don't look at the posts unless you want to run into them, for you will always go where you look!" And he thought, "How that describes the power of one's mind!" " That thou seest, that thou beest." Keep your eye on the mark of the high calling of Christ Jesus. At times one is kept to a work by the powers that bless until a certain quality is developed, and the quick- est way out of an undesirable position is to do your very best in it. " Why is my talented son obliged to work in a po- sition where his gift has no opportunity for development ? 45 SPIRITUAL HOUSEKEEPING He has a fine genius for the violin, but he is working laboriously at braking on freight trains, and he likes it, too, "• said a fond mother to a Truth-teacher one day. "Perhaps there is some trait that must be estab- lished in him," was the reply, "before he is ready to take up his talent and use it. For instance, he may lack con- tinuity." " You are right!" she exclaimed, " that is just what he has lacked, so that he never would practice as he should. But he cannot indulge that weakness as a brakeman, and it is wonderful how he forces himself to rise exactly on time and keeps himself alert to do everything in his work with order and dispatch. It makes me quite con- tented now that I see there may be a purpose in it all." The word for Wednesday is " God works and wills in and through me, and in and through all things for good." Wisdom works wisdom's way, all beauty and useful- ness, all blessing and all delight. 4 6 THE FIFTH DAY Thursday — 1*obver "Day "^^^HOR, the Norse deity, whose name is the origin m C~\ of Thursday, or Thor's-day, was the God-Man ^^^ of the northern mythology— the human being whose powers and works were manifested through being overshadowed by his divinity. This Man has ever been recognized by the dominant races of the planet and some, like the Greeks and the Hindus, have seen this master expressed in many forms, although with one Spirit. Such were Hercules and Achilles, Krishna and Ram, the Egyptian Osiris; and even the Aztecs of Mexico and the Peruvians of South America had their God-hero whose office and character partook of certain marked traits belonging to this manifestation. This God-Man is always a Savior of His people. One has twelve labors to perform in delivering the oppressed ; certain have human mothers and a divine father; all commune with the gods ; most of them have a vulnerable point that makes them subject to death; they heal dis- eases, they join the gods, and are immortalized in the memory of their people. 47 SPIRITUAL The cross was a symbol common to all the nations to whom religion was an important part of life. By the cross Osiris " gave light eternal to the Spirits of the Just " ; the cross, according to Prescott, was found by the Spaniards in the temples of Mexico as an object of wor- ship ; and in the form of a hammer it was the magic wand of Thor. With it, according to Scandinavian legends, Thor crushed the head of Mitgaard, the serpent, de- stroyed giants, restored to life the dead goats which ever after drew his car, and consecrated the pyre of Baldur. Thus we see that Thursday is the day of the Christ- Man, the power of Almighty God in the flesh. In the wonderful Nazarene all these symbols and works were rescued from myths and gathered together in a human life, which was to represent, to the end of time, the Way out of the maze of mortality, and the Life that sets us free from the seductions of the sense serpent. The story of Jesus Christ is not a myth compounded from the legends of the race but a witness to the marvel- ous power of the Holy (Whole) Spirit to picture forth in the flesh the great paradox of the Cross, that is, the victory and glory of the Real Self through the humilia- tion and complete denial of the petty self. Thursday is an open day in the communities that have observed a regular routine of housework, and it is 48 HO USEKEEPING devoted to a great variety of employments according to the neighborhood, city, or country, and the interests of the individual householders. There is gardening and letter-writing, making calls and receiving them; there are extra and unusual departments, such as cellar and garret to receive attention; there is " The Club;" there are the lessons in music, painting, and so forth ; there is the philanthropic work ; and in many places it is the day that the maid takes for her holiday. This is Individual Day, wherein the powers of one's divinity can be the special meditation that will serve to gather one's human radiations to a focusing center of strength, so that even with the infinite variety of de- mands that may be made upon one there will be no con- fusing distraction or scattering, but a glorious expression of talent and genius, the reality of the individual Idea which we are in the divine Mind. 40 SPIRITUAL Your individuality is your soul, and you are here to express it in fullness, the hero and heroine that you are, the original, beautiful, noble Self — that Idea of you in the Mind of God, equal with God, and God's own Being. The fear of the loss of one's individuality disappears through knowledge of Truth, for the Soul Sense is restored, and one knows one's self to be eternal Soul, as impossible to be lost as for God to cease to be. No soul can be lost — it is the sense of being Soul that has been obscured, and which returns by the saving power of the Christ-Self. Individuality is not demonstrated by separation, op- position, competition, or difference. This is the mistaken view of mortals, who thus hope to be individual by eccen- tricity, egotism, and exclusiveness. There is but one true Individual God, and we are all That. As personalities grow impersonal and univer- sal, putting away the petty differences of race, family, position, sex, and so forth, forgetting the little I, they show forth the character and powers of their Godhood, and join even the world's immortals. The hero who performs a great deed forgets himself, and even his family and everything but the Cause which he has espoused, and for which he is ready to die if it must be. The sense of personality utterly melts before the cosmic consciousness, yet individuality is intensely clear and So HOUSEKEEPING full, and immortality is an assurance forever beyond question. As the worker is engaged among the plants of her garden let her remember the plants of the Lord's plant- ing (read Jer. xvii, 7, 8), the precious one in the people of her world. And as she loves, trains, and nourishes each vine and shrub let her meditate upon the tender, watchful work of the Spirit toward every human being, pruning it, cleansing it, giving it the soil (environ- ment) best fitted to develop it. Let her remember that Eden garden of her soul and the deeds of true thinking and feeling implanted within her consciousness. The power of the Christ transcends time, and spiritual seeds can produce quickly " fruit after their kind." The word for Thursday is "All power is "given unto Me," and also " God's grace is sufficient for Me," mes- sages which radiate from the Christ-consciousness with- in. Divine power is not violent or resistant. It is effort- less and peaceful, yet mighty and effectual— it cannot be separated from Grace. Whenever strength is needed in one's affairs this Christ-power should be invoked, for by it wonder- works have been performed. A little woman found her- self at a place in a work of cleaning up her belongings and getting them ready for moving where she needed a 51 SPIRITUAL strong arm to lift a dentist's chair. She was alone, hav- ing been recently widowed, there was no man near, yet all her work would be delayed if this heavy iron chair was not moved. She breathed a silent prayer : " I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me," and she lifted that chair, and its weight was no more to her than a child's high-chair —indeed, it seemed to be as light as a balloon as she raised it off the rug that she had rolled up. Afterward it required two men to carry it out of the house. All power is given to you, the Christ-Self, in heaven and on earth, and that power overshadows, surrounds, upholds and fills the earth-man as he lets it. And this power cannot be limited by any earthly law; it is not upon a basis of ethics; it is above cause and effect, the Grace that ever works good because of love that sees only "My Beloved." In this light we understand the comfort and promise which Paul received when he heard " My grace is suf- ficient for thee" ; that is, the sweet graciousness of his own divinity would set him free from the rigid laws of reaping what he had sown by giving him power to for- give his enemies and cast out all bitterness, resentment, and desire for revenge. The gracious man or woman is the one who is con- 52 HOUSEKEEPING siderate, gentle, patient, kind to poor and rich alike, saint and sinner equally, knowing neither high nor low, but only: this is a human being, therefore one to be re- spected. The forms of salutation even in our letters, the cere- monies of polite society, the etiquette and courtesies ob- served by the aspiring members of the human family have their foundation in sincere actions of love and re- spect. Without these principles they become mere af- fectations and hypocrisy, or at best cold forms. It is in the power of the truth-lover to restore the dead letter of manners and customs to their original Spirit by doing all these things from the heart, and thinking of how one can bless and serve another in place of what is due to oneself. Thus, when one is making calls or receiving them, instead of dreading to meet certain ones, begin to meet them in Soul before the outward approach. Look through that shell, the mere external, and silently talk to the inner one while commonplace remarks about the weather and health, relations and current events are exchanged. You will find original remarks rising to your lips, displacing these trite hacks of effete conversa- tion. To you every human being then becomes a treas- ure-box to be opened and made to reveal the precious 53 SPIRITUAL jewels there which may even surprise their owners. Each one, even the most repulsive and uncongenial, stands for a heavenly Idea. Exercise yourself to find what they represent in divine Mind— perhaps it is the very opposite to what they appear, and it will yet be proven so to you. Writing letters represents the Spirit's eternal act of sending forth the Word, therefore they can go forth with inspiration. Holding to the Christ-power to word your epistles will make them easy in style, rich in substance and able to convey truly what was intended. Giving this act to God will prevent writing when in a passion, or under any thought-pressure of evil. And also it will cause some letters to remain unsent. Again, it will send messages between the lines that will make the letter food and drink to tlie spiritually hungry. " Do all things unto the glory of God." When you go to the Club, be the sweet gracious thought that heals gossip and envying, that harmonizes factions and pro- motes usefulness, and though you are silent, some mem- ber will voice your thought in a way acceptable and helpful in expressing the real purpose of the organiza- tion. If you go to the theater, find the Spirit there and see how it is giving light and joy to the soul. If you attend a dance, let the grace of your Spirit lift men's 54 HOUSEKEEPING thoughts above the mere sensuous into the heights where Miriam dwelt with David when they danced before the Lord. If you play cards, redeem them from the earth- passion and condemnation, and as you let your intelli- gence and skill testify to a power greater than ordinary, silently give all praise to the One. Every game has an innocent origin— cards were even Scripture to the people who first used them, they claiming their invention to be from the gods. Whatever is pernicious in games will not pass by condemnation but by redemption. Taking and giving lessons in art, science, language, or any work may be associated with the soul's power of imparting itself; knowing, without strenuous study, do- ing, without arduous practice. All thought of stupidity and inability must be swallowed up in the memory of the source of power and intelligence. Dismiss every suggestion of " can't " with the realization of "I-can-and- I-will" by the power and grace of your God-Self. As a teacher you can imbue your pupil. As a student you can be so baptized by your Supreme Self. This day of grace that knows neither high nor low is a fit one in which to give the servant her holiday, hon- oring her desires and considering her welfare as you would be blessed were you in her place. Seeing one life in all makes it possible for one to appreciate the 55 SPIRITUAL needs and wishes of another whose tastes may be quite different from our own. We may discover them to be more delicate on certain points, and where they seem to be inferior we can respect their right and not despise or judge superficially. "Shall the eye say to the hand, I have no need of thee?" We are members of one body, and each member is to be honored according to its view of what is fit and desirable. There are servants who " know their place" and love to keep it and to have it recognized graciously and wisely, and there are servants who desire to be treated as members of the family, and the true master and mistress of the household know how to bring that wish to pass to the comfort and well-being of all. We are all servants in love, one with Him who came not to be served but to serve. And now we come to the philanthropic work to which you may pay special attention on some days even though every day be tinctured with some form of it. In the first place we lift it all out of the old view of "charity," the thought that we give to others that which was not theirs but by our favor — the act of a superior to an in- ferior. Such is an abomination in the sight of the Lord. We realize that all belongs to the One, who is in all, and we never give to another aught but his own, and our part is but to be wise stewards in this demesne of 56 HOUSEKEEPING the Father of us all, giving by the Spirit and withhold- ing by the Spirit. Until you can give the true thought with your money you have not fulfilled your part. The wise one gives to the Christ in all and does not regard the appearance — looks through the drunkard, the grime and the wickedness to the One that God sent, " the light which lighteth every man." To him there are no tramps, no beggars, no imposters. He thinks not of need nor poverty, as he gives to the rich one that is there, the worthy one, the honest, the able, the true One. And with that thought he draws forth the man of God. Only those who are prompted by the Christ within can appeal to you as you hold yourself to be God's Hand to dis- pense His bounty, and you can say with all your heart to every one whose case draws forth your sympathy, " Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." Indiscriminate charity is a weakness and often a thought- less make-shift of ignorance, that thinks itself unselfish when it is only superficially easing its own discomfort at the sight of pain and want. Give your impulses to inspiration and not be prompted so much by the sense of the reality of the evil as by the joy of distributing the plenty God has given you. A lady of New York City determined one winter to literally " give to everyone that asked" her. By the end 57 SPIRITUAL of the winter her house had become " a tramp's boarding house"— so her cook said. The following winter she followed the same rule and she found her income hardly sufficient for her own living, besides her servants greatly taxed. Nevertheless she kept bravely on, and when the third winter started and the same horde began to come— men of previous years returning again and again, having her place marked and listed on their memoranda, she was led to seek counsel of a teacher of divine Mind power. The latter asked her : " To whom have you been giving? To the tramp, the beggar, the drunkard?" " O, yes!" she promptly replied, "to everyone that has come." "Then, hereafter do not give to them, but to your brothers, to the Christ in them, and silently say to every- one, ' I give to the true One in you, and the honest, tem- perate, pure One in you uses this gift to the glory of your Godhood. , Moreover have this realization for yourself, expressed in the words of Christ, ' No man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me, draw him.'," She took this advice, and the magical result was a class of applicants whose number and character she could serve easily and satisfactorily with the sense that 58 HOUSEKEEPING she was truly blessing and not " hindering them on their upward way." One of the most remarkable proofs of the power of a silent blessing accompanying a gift, with a spoken word of good to seal it, was shown in the following in- stance : It was a drizzly winter day in Los Angeles when a man who would be called a typical hobo, dirty, unshaven, unkempt, with breath redolent of liquor, presented him- self at the kitchen-door of a lady who had begun to take the true attitude towards all humanity, asking for money. A very strict law had been passed in Los Angeles to ar- rest such creatures, and this lady could have handed him over to a policeman who happened to be near by, but she did not. She answered simply : " Very well, wait a minute," and went to get her purse to find a small coin. There was nothing less than a fifty-cent piece in it. " This is too much," she thought. Then, " No, I will give it with a message to his soul." So, holding it in the palm of her hand, she blessed it, and said : " Go with him and tell him, he is a child of the Most High God, pure and holy, loving noble things and able to live an honorable, manly life, honest and true!" 59 SPIRITUAL Then she put the coin into his hand, speaking aloud the words, as she looked him in the eye : " I believe in you !" As he hurried down the hill he was filled with glee as he thought of the treat that he and his tramp-chums would have down among the hogsheads where they had been having their open-air lodgings. As his bleary eyes brightened at the thoughts of the prospective " beers" another thought would come athwart these, and he would say: " I wonder what she meant by saying ' I believe in you!' " The words kept coming. At the corner of Fourth and Spring streets he went into a cellar where the Salva- tion Army was holding a meeting, so as to be out of the rain and enjoy his good luck. The Salvation people were telling of the work they had procured for a number of men, and they were inviting any who were there to come forward and list their names for employment and they would do for them what they could. A strong feel- ing came over this man to take up a clean life, and he found himself in the aisle going up to be an applicant. The outcome was an invitation from the Salvationists to work around their barracks for his room and board until they could procure him a place. This he did. At the 60 HOUSEKEEPING end of a month he obtained a job, proved competent, was promoted, and six months from that drizzly day he presented himself at the door of that lady's house, a fine handsome man, both within and without, seeking to know why she said, " I believe in you." " How far doth a little candle send its rays!" 11 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven." 6t THE SIXTH DAY Friday— Day of Purity ERIDAY, the "sweeping-day" throughout the realm of the orderly housewives, has of old been under the auspices of that goddess of love who was all grace, beauty and purity, Frigga, the Venus of the Norse mythology. These three attributes belong to the Love that is Divine, and where any one is missing it must be supplied, that the expression of love on the earth may be perfect— grace that is the heighth of unselfishness, beauty, the natural radiance of love and purity, the unalloyed freedom of true hearts. Early on Friday morning every thing is astir for a good sweeping and dusting. The windows are thrown open, as indeed they are every morning, and as the fresh, sweet billows of new-day sunshine and air roll in we remember why we love and embrace them so. It means our union with our world, our enlarging the areas of our earth-consciousness. The reason why we love the great out-doors so much, flinging aside draperies and swinging our case- 62 SPIRITUAL HOUSEKEEPING ments wide open, is because it represents the Spirit's universality, rising above the selfish interests, and break- ing forth into joy in the life of the whole. But if some one is fearful of the drafts, and compels us to sleep in a room tight-closed, it is our privilege to remember we carry an aura of soul-breath of which we can partake at such moments, exercising one of the powers of our divinity to extract the wholesome from the foul, the pure from the impure. The Hindu devotee that has this power is called a pa.ra.mha.msa. — the great Swan, because of the tradition that if you put a drink of milk and water before a swan it has the power to sup the milk and leave the water. Never let the thought of a close room annoy or pain you. You breathe the breath of the Almighty, and nothing can stifle you or make you faint or give you headache— you are greater than any earthly air. As the merry little housewife goes about brushing the curtains and pinning them up, dusting the orna- ments and putting them under covers, sweeping the walls and mouldings and picture-frames, beating dust out of cushions, dusting and moving out furniture, all preparatory to the thorough sweeping of the floor, rugs and carpets, let her meditate upon the grace and beauty and purity of that inner home of love, our heaven. 63 SPIRITUAL Some of the carvings and scrolleries may test her pa- tience, but let love reveal how she is uncovering some of the hidden subtle beauties of soul by her persistent word — the dust-cloth is " the word" as also the broom, and all the different implements of sweeping. As her new thoughts work with her busy hands she may see that some of the ornaments are anything but orna- mental—they are old-fashioned, they have not kept in line with her own development in taste and the march of the race as to standards of beauty — they are faded or broken, and simply cumber the room. Then she can cull them out, realizing she is renewing her youth as she is willing to put away these old useless sentiments and break down attachment to relics which in some cases she has kept because of the donor who "will be more honored in the breach than in the observance" of these respectful memories. Learn to pass along things you have outgrown but which may still give someone else pleasure or benefit. Instead of cluttering your attic with heaps of cast-off clothing or piles of ornaments and furniture that are passe give them to those of your little sisters who will receive them as from a sister. There are always the settlement-workers, the Salvation Army, the kinder- garten philanthropists, and individuals who carry maga- 64 HOUSEKEEPING zines to hospitals, teach the ignorant to make homes, and work privately in multifold ways for the negative members of our world-family who will be glad to get a message from you, asking them to place these articles which are still good, and which you feel to pass along. Bless everything that you dust, especially the old and ugly. Cease to fret because things so poorly rep- resent your ideals. Change the tendency of finding fault with the furniture and walls into habits of medi- tating on the forms that would better portray the ideas they represent. Thus a chair stands for the idea of rest, and if the chair is broken or ugly, uncomfortable or weak, then as you dust it, call it God's Rest, and de- clare, " God's Rest is perfect and beautiful, full of comfort and strength, and It is here." If no cor- respondence comes to mind, silently affirm in a general way, "This stands for an idea of God, the Good. All God's ideas are true and full of grace, pure and beau- tiful." A lady who was burdened with the sense of the oldness and unfit character of her furniture took up this method of blessing and thanksgiving, because she saw it was the true attitude of mind, with the result of being able to dispose of all her old furniture, and, while moving into a new apartment, to get new furnish- 65 SPIRITUAL ings throughout, having demonstrated the way and the means of procuring these by the Truth to which she was conforming her whole life. And today she is a prosperous, independent healer, owning her own home, all through living this life, this special feature begin- ning with the day that she blessed her belongings instead of cursing them by finding fault and hating them. Harmony in the mind finds expression in harmony of the home-furnishings, but sometimes the tune is pitched too low, and it is not music but silence, and the key must be raised to higher tones. As when a guitar is tuned too low, and you raise one string to the right pitch and then the others to harmonize, so sometimes a new piece of furniture can become the key to new furnishings throughout, everything beginning to "live up to" the latest import. And the money comes and the way opens where there is a will founded upon principle. This is the day of cleanliness, that of the within as well as the without. "Cleanliness is next to godli- ness," but it may be the "miss that is as good as a mile" if kindness and unselfishness are forgotten. For god- liness means happiness, comfort and peace, and if one's cleanliness is such as to make oneself unhappy at the sight of dirt or make others uncomfortable, then it is far from godliness, and one needs to go often by 66 HOUSEKEEPING oneself and "clean house" interiorly, putting away the belief in the reality of uncleanliness, and the pride in one's order and immaculate neatness. While outwardly all should be sweet, spotless and clean, inwardly there should be the same consciousness, so that the mind is at rest and withdrawn from detecting dirt and seeing disorder at untimely moments. To go about contin- ually putting in order, wiping up mud-stains, brushing up litter with ubiquitous dustpan and brush in hand is a sign of disorder in the mentality, where the real cor- rection must begin. All the efforts to keep clean should be so effectually hidden that things will seem to keep themselves neat and orderly. No one's thoughtless untidiness should distract you nor bring scolding, nagging words to your lips. The latter are more out of order than the former. "But," you may ask, "how shall these careless habits in the family be corrected?" By silent communion with the One who is in us all that ever calls forth harmony out of chaos. By faithful belief in the true One in the grow- ing child there will come to the mind ways and devices which are pleasant and even entertaining by which they are reminded to hang up their hats, or wipe the mud from their shoes, and to attend to all those regularities, even in trifles, the observance of which so largely makes 67 SPIRITUAL a happy household. At most these early years of selfish savagery, the remains of race chaos, are but few. Be patient, and trust, and never lose your peace. The gentle art of housekeeping includes within itself a happy abandonment in its working that puts all at ease, skillfully covering any noise or friction of the "machinery." So inspired has been the general- ship of many a successful house-mother that families have been born, raised and married before their mem- bers have dreamed of the masterly management that made their home to be a home, and some have never found it out. Revelations await us along these lines of unwritten history. As the good housewife on this, Frigga's day, wields her broom with short, strong strokes or light ones, let her be reminded of the Spirit sweeping from her mentality and out of her life all the useless dust and accumulations of false thinking and feeling, especially all memory of impurities in herself and others. To see and talk about impurity is to have lodged in the cells of one's brain and other organs what the physi- cians call "dirt," and clean thinking sweeps out the foreign matter from our cells and saves us from the diseases resulting from it. 68 - HOUSEKEEPING The dust rolled up in tiny, grey clouds of down, lying in quiet corners on the floor, outpictures idle thoughts, materialistic and worldly. The large damp cloth that gathers them from day to day is the gentle, vigilant word of Spirit that daily frees us from the world while yet we are in it. Idle thoughts Emerson, in one of his essays, com- pares to flies, and by such similies we often find cor- respondences between the inner and the outer, and herein we have a hint of what we are driving out from our mentalities when we swing the fly-driver. One of the problems of housekeeping is the dealing with ants, moths and other insects, so as to be free from them, and not appear to destroy life. Every form of vermin, like the "disease microbe," is subject to the will of man, and though the forms be destroyed, the instructed truth- student should never hold that life has been taken, else he will bind himself, and come under the whip of con- science. "Happy is the man that condemneth not him- self in that thing which he alloweth," and if because of ignorance of any better way he destroys the form of a snake or a scorpion, a man-eating tiger or a mouse, he should realize that the life of each is as safe as his own, and even then begins to form another body and seek ingress for it to the outer world. But the best 69 SPIRITUAL of all is to win the victory by the skill of knowing. The wonderful intelligence that marks the ant has been so identified with the highest intelligence that si- lent reasoning with it has resulted in turning ants from a house to the outside field. No expression of life is an enemy to the one who understands and seeks the friendship of all. This is the key to the success of the bee-keeper who can handle his charges and never be stung. All insects that in- trude upon man can be seen in their best light, each an aspirant for a higher form that is admirable to their Lord, man, and which is of a harmless nature and even more, a benefit. There are no parasites in the kingdom of heaven, and every such appearance can be transmuted by the magical thought of man who can raise a form, without destroying it, from a low, selfish vibration to a high, beau- tiful form of a brilliant color and graceful movement. The lovely butterfly is the ideal of the moth, the brilliant dragon-fly of the mosquito, the green-gold beetles and honored scarabse are the high marks for the despised parasites of their own family. All creation rises by pleasing man, the Lord of creation. When cleaning house in the spring or fall, the presiding consciousness of loving, and peaceful purity, 70 HOUSEKEEPING can take away the sense of confusion, and attract com- fort and joyous cooperation on the part of all the mem- bers of the household. The pneumatic and electric de- vices for cleaning have come to us because man is let- ting inspiration and invention raise the work of the race out of the Adamic curse to the Christ-plane where all work becomes a joy. Willingness to try new ways and purchase the latest labor-saving implements which have been proven belongs to the youthful realization that renews the body and keeps one abreast with the times. The Spirit ever lives in the Now. Every form of work that freshens up the old, brightens with polish, decorates and renovates, stands for the power of the Self to bring forth the heavenly treasures both old and new. Spirituality prevents all crudity and bad taste in this refurbishing of the old and making acquisitions of the new. Standards of beauty and grace in furniture come forth from the mentalities of those who combine art with work because of inspiration and love of cre- ating. And whoever makes the selection of his house- furnishings a matter of spiritual importance will be of the same mind as the most artistic of his time. And it will not always be a matter of expense, for some of the most artistic furniture has cost little money and has often been the work of the home-maker, who has be- 71 SPIRITUAL come cabinet-worker for the time being, to the lasting pleasure and profit of the family. All the employments that combine the useful and the beautiful are opportunities for the overshadowing by high ideals that minister to the best in customers, and destroy vanity-thoughts, and set aside the weaknesses, follies and deceptions of those that seek your service and what you have. The questions of integrity and honor that arise between employer and employed can be silently met with Principle, so that demands can- not be made upon you that are unjust or dishonest. Meet the direction to misrepresent given you by your superior (in worldly position) with the silent declara- tion, "You love honor, and you ask only the honor- able thing of me," and two results will follow your divine word: first, such suggestions will cease to come your way; second, your own God-powers will "make good" your representation. You are then the healing word for the crooked ways of the business-world, and the ignorant and shameful methods fall away before the strong light of Principle that brooks no compro- mise. Silent appeals to the soul of a man succeed where preachments fail. If your superior has a superior who in turn has his, who is responsible for such orders, then 73 HOUSEKEEPING you can mentally go to headquarters and heal the bit- ter waters at their source. There is no phase of human life that needs healing more than business, and who- ever will stay by his post, radiating the warm light of his own pure ideals without antagonism or condemna- tion, will correct and transform the worldly code of business dealings by simply being, as the sun breaks up the darkness, about which it knows nothing, by steadfastly shining. There is a monotony about some employments that is very trying, handling the same things, repeating the same words, doing some one thing hour after hour. The devotee of Truth will here find a special advan- tage in the power of the Spirit to ring infinite variations through the one theme. As illustration : a young woman had many chairs to dust— nearly two hundred— usually a long, tedious work. One day she conceived the idea of giving a blessing to all those who should next occupy those chairs, and she varied the blessing with each chair she handled, and the work became alive to her and ceased to be merely mechanical. Workers in factories and piece-workers can mentally go forth into the world with every piece they handle, touching with messages of "the good tidings" the distant islands and zones of arctic cold and tropic heat. All sense of being a ma- 73 SPIRITUAL chine passes away with the incoming of the rich Spirit that gives real value to all work. The word for Friday is Purity. " Unto the pure all things are pure " (Titus i, 15). "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matt, v, 8). " Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil " (Hab. i, 13). " I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself " (Rom. xiv, 14). " Behold, all things are clean unto you " (Luke xi, 41;. Special attention can be paid this day to eliminating from the personal and the race consciousness all belief in the reality of impurity. The human mentality, like a lake, reflects whatever is brought into right relation for reflection, and in order to be a good reflector this mind must be still and clear. We have already considered the stillness, now let us think upon the clearness. If the water is muddy there is a poor reflection, so poor that few eyes can see it, but where water is pure from mud and other foreign elements the reflections are so perfect that the scene within the water is the same as that with- out, though inverted. Pure thoughts are the clearness of the mind, but beliefs in impurity are as mud to the mentality, and picture forth as corruption in the body. 74 HOUSEKEEPING Not only must one realize oneself pure, but all things that one can see or recognize in any way must be viewed only in their purity. The false suggestions of adultery, of the reality of the unchaste, of all unholiness, and every form of unclean- ness must be swept from the mind by the free, fresh winds of spiritual insight. It may require a daily use of the mental broom and duster of the true word to cleanse the family mind from the daily contact of newspaper reports of " horrors, " and so forth, but no better work can be done for yourself and them. While purity is the principal thought maintained on this day of Venus the other thoughts of beauty and grace must often be remembered, for the meditation upon purity alone has been cold and severe, like the snows that are piled on our sidewalks in winter. Even the old ascetic thought of purity must be swept aside by the true thought, which is one with beauty and grace, and if it falls to your lot to sweep away the snow from steps and paths carry the love-consciousness that warms you to the work with its memory of the whole trinity of love in form, beauty, grace and purity. As you go from room to room on this day with the sweet contentment of reviewing all the outward clean- ness stand in the center of each one and radiate the 75 SPIRITUAL HOUSEKEEPING inward praise of your sunny soul, giving to each room that special blessing that redeems it from some limita- tions or make universal some special goodness that belongs to it. Thus, if it is too dark, breathe a blessing of God's light shining there— who knows? perhaps some one will think of putting a little window in the roof or high in the wall or some fit place that will be the out- picturing of your silent prayer. Another room may be all that is ideal in its appointments, and as you stand in the center of that room radiate its rich spirit to the thou- sands of homes round about that are void of that comfort and beauty; some receptive heart will catch the message and the spirit, and another home will grow towards heaven because of your loving prayer. " In my Father's house are many mansions," many manifestations of harmony and every other good—" I go to prepare a place for you." The Christ ever goes forth to prepare yours for you, mine for me, and all for all. You do likewise who build a happy home, not for your- self alone, but for all, not for time alone, but for all eternity. 76 THE SEVENTH DAY Sa fur day — Perfection r EVEN is the number of the perfect Man, who has made the complete union between the human and the Divine, therefore the day was pronounced sacred to the finished work of the Creator, a day to celebrate, a holy day and a holiday, which are one in Spirit and true manifestation. When the Christ in Jesus blessed every day of the week, and made them all holy, there were some of his Hebrew followers who still " esteemed one day above another." For their sake the resurrection-day became the Lord's Day, nevertheless Saturday, as the Sabbath, was not wholly abolished among the Jewish Christians, and it was of them that Paul wrote (Rom. xiv, 5) : " One man esteemeth one day above another : another esteem- eth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." At this time every Christian knew himself to be a priest of God, a " Levite," ready to serve the Lord in each with roast sacrifices of lamb and beeves, and sacred bread and honored wine. Their communions 77 SPIRITUAL were love-feasts where some would come with large ap- petites and exhibit unseemly greed, so that Paul felt the need of ministering such rebukes as in the eleventh chapter of First Corinthians, twenty-first, thirty-third and thirty-fourth verses, counselling them to take the edge off their hunger before coming to the table of the Lord, lest they eat with forgetfulness. There was so much to do in these servings that special officers were appointed for the work, the very first one being the great Stephen, " a man full of faith, and the Holy Ghost," and power, doing "great wonders and miracles among the people " (Acts vi, 2-8). He proved that a lover of Truth can serve tables and minister the Word, do great works most effectually, reason with in- tellectual rulers, have the face of an angel (Acts vi, 15), and endure martyrdom, realizing the glory of the cosmic vision in his passing hour (Acts vii, 55, 56). In the old dispensation the Sabbath was the busiest day of the week for the priests, for there was so much to do of sacred service, and the natural descendant of that Levitical labor is the strenuous finishing work of our old time housewives on Saturday. And the orthodox clergy of to-day find their Sabbath the most laborious day of the week, for they, too, cling to the old dispensation, the " esteeming one day above another." It is in our power 78 HOUSEKEEPING to unite the rich-providing work of the old living with the light merrymaking of the new, and make of our Satur- days both a rounding fullness of a week well-lived and an overflowing holiday of care-free frolic, thus most happily wedding work and play at this meeting of the ways of the old week and the new. Saturday is the day of Saturn, or Satan, the ancient god of wrath, whose reign was finished with the incoming of the Christ. This is the god whose subtle, secret revenge upon his enemies has been so well depicted in that mythological character after whom the planet Saturn was named, and which is said to have astrological influences — cold, cruel, selfish and deceitful— upon those in opposition, but beneficent to those who know how to " agree with their adversary " and to be still before it, and more subtle, mounting to God in their selfness, and able always to lift up every serpent in the wilderness. Interesting declarations are made for these times by spiritual astrologers, who tell us that as a race we have passed from the dominant ruling of Saturn to that of Uranus, and whereas our most successful men have been of the saturnine temperament— cool, calculating and secretive — the men who will succeed in this age, and for coming centuries, will be of the Uranian tempera- 79 SPIRITUAL ment— bold and radical, frank and original, willing to trust their impressions, and acknowledge psychical powers ; and certainly the men who are the rising rulers of the hour are largely fulfilling that description— exeunt the Rockefeller type of success, enter the Roosevelt manner of leaders. "All the world's a stage," and every actor has his day. Saturday is the day in which we redeem every re- maining evil belief, beginning with that god of evil called Satan, the devil, " that old serpent." When the children of Israel were journeying from Egypt to the Land of Promise, they became rebellious and complaining, and old desires for their former slave- life came upon them, for then they could also enjoy some of the rich dishes of their masters. Their fault-findings and bitter loathings took form as serpents that turned upon their creators and stung them to death. Then Moses prayed for knowledge of the way to deliver his people, and was told to make an image of a serpent from brass in such a fashion that it could glow with the heat and light of fire within it, then to lift this upon a pole, or cross, and it would follow that all who would listen and obey should be healed by simply lifting their eyes to the image which had been moulded under the directions of the Holy Spirit, and they repented and were healed. 80 HOUSEKEEPING The same method was advised for those Philistines whose capture and retention of the ark of the Lord in their midst seemed to work them evil instead of good, because they could not live up to it. They became afflicted with boils, and their fields were overrun with a pest of mice. They returned the ark, and sought counsel of the Israelites, and were told to make images of the mice and of the boils in gold, and present them to the Lord, and they did so, and were healed in body and in their land. A wonderful principle is involved in these strange performances, and it is for us not to miss the secret power of deliverance that comes through understanding how to make a mental image of our infliction under the guidance of the Spirit, so that we can lift up our eyes, our perception, and be healed. The " abomination of desolation," or the most hateful and destructive agency in our lives, must come to the holy place of the high and noble recognition of the good- ness there before the end of the old condition can come to pass. To love your enemy you must find God there. Satan is the reverse side of God, called in the Old Testament, " the anger of the Lord," as is shown by comparing II Samuel, twenty-fourth chapter and first verse with I Chronicles, twenty-first chapter and first 81 SPIRITUAL verse. It is that view of God that gives deity all the false characteristics of the mortal, such as deception, killing, revenge, hate, and all those degrading traits that the illuminated have said must be destroyed in man that he may please God. But this view of God had its good effect in arresting certain degeneration through a wholesome fear, until the Christ consciousness should reveal the God of love, through the love that knows that what the Great One rebukes in man cannot be in Itself. Satan is that aspect of divinity which is a terror to evil-doers, and a tester to those on the upward way. No mere pretender can pass its examination success- fully, but the true candidate for celestial degrees realizes the nature of its examinations, and comes through with honors. And yet so advanced is the knowledge of divin- ity now that it is possible to be " honorably promoted,'* not having the necessity of examination, or testing, to prove us worthy. Thus are our daily prayers answered, "Lead us not into temptation." Satan, the seventh angel of the Lord (called in Isaiah eleventh chapter, third verse, " the fear of the Lord ") came among the Sons of God (Job i, 6) when they assembled to con- sider that master, Job, and his fitness for further bless- ings. He tries Job even as he tested Jesus— the one 82 HOUSEKEEPING passed through quickly without failure, the other be- comes a type of the long trial through which so many are passing— long because of ignorance, yet triumphant in the end, so that the candidate has honors and riches many fold more than in the beginning. Satan redeemed becomes the mystery of Godliness, that open door to the infinite variety, the unexpected, the eccentric that ever allows the unusual, the rare, the unconventional to be expressed in harmony with the whole. Saturday in its employments is a combination of con- tradictions, being a holiday for some, the hardest work- day of the week for others, and sabbath-day for others still. It is a day in which to deify that which has been our cross, our sorrow, grievance, humiliation, and so remove the sting, and be healed of the bite. Work it- self may be our Satan, yet it may have a grand ripening mission for us in preparing us for our own place, just as Saturday prepares for Sunday. Instead of running away from it, hating it, and rebelling, let us use the subtle policy of Jesus Christ, who threw himself whole-heartedly into the earth life until he made it yield up its sweetness and richness to all. It is possible to finish quickly with a hard and uncongenial piece of work by getting from it for oneself and others all that which God intended. The principle work of Saturday is baking and cooking 83 SPIRITUAL in general, and the meditations which we will associate with this day's work we can connect with every meal that is prepared throughout the week. Right here it is well to call attention to the fact that many times one will be so absorbed in one's work that no special spiritual thinking will come to mind, then the habit of associating elevated ideas with that work in par- ticular will imbue the whole with spirituality and make it a joyous, free expression wherein the Good only is remembered. It is not necessary always to think upon exact ideals, but rather to have one's whole activity ideal- ized by perpetual recognition of the beautiful, the good and the true everywhere. What one cooks partakes of one's nature, and the more of one's quality of goodness, such as love and kindly care and thought, one puts into food the more it is relished. It is not always that the cook thinks about the food she is preparing— sometimes she gives it no special thought —but it is to have a certain radiance of goodness that is sympathetic and interesting in its quality. Home cooking is enjoyed because mother-love is put into it. A rich sympathetic human interest enters into such food which is missing when the food is machine- made, or when the mind of the cook is filled with com- mercial dryness and dead indifference. It is the hearty, 84 HOUSEKEEPING genuine interest in people that makes the success of the public caterer, especially when combined with fearless- ness and a correct sense of values. Nothing is more prolific of symbolical suggestion than food. It is much favored in the Bible to indicate heav- enly truths that nourish the spiritual man; meat is used for strong statements of truth, milk for elementary teaching (Heb. v, 12-14). So also fruit, bread, wine, butter and honey are used for truths which are to be ap- propriated and assimilated. When making bread, remember Jesus' comparison of the Kingdom of Heaven to the three measures of meal which a woman takes in preparing loaves for the baking. The Master was wonderfully familiar with the common tasks of lowly life, and almost all his metaphors are drawn from domestic and field life. And nothing shows this better than this figure (Matt, xiii, 33). First the yeast (the truth) is put into a small measure of flour (the twelve disciples) until that measure is thoroughly leav- ened. Then it is mixed with the next measure (the Christians of the past centuries) and now the third meas- ure is receiving its working. So with the three-fold in- dividual man, the measures may be named, soul, body and affairs. Long has the human soul, or character, been under the influence of the Christ message, until 8s SPIRITUAL now the next measure, the physical body, is being elec- trified with vitality, and ultimately the grand old world will respond to its persistent love-leavening. In the home the family can be changed from discon- tent and dissatisfaction by cooking the food with the true thought. A complaining mood spoils digestion more than material things. " Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a stalled ox and hatred therewith" (Prov. xv, 17). A certain hausfrau had much difficulty in satisfying her large hungry family of six grown sons and their father. With old-fashioned German lavishness she pro- vided the best and plenty for ordinary appetites, but her men had extraordinary appetites. In vain she increased the quantity— they were never quite satisfied. When she received the understanding that their real hunger was for spiritual food she silently bespoke for each the true satisfaction. The result was almost startling. They became normal, and her cooking was no longer a burden, and sweet content reigned in her house. Every meal can be a communion. " This do in remem- brance of Me." Eat and drink of the spiritual body—" a body hast thou prepared for me" — by remembering that man liveth not by bread alone, but by the Word, which he is in the mouth of the Lord. The silent grace before eating sanctifies all the food so that nothing can by any 86 HOUSEKEEPING means harm you. Discern the body of the Lord in every- thing that is set before you. Often invoke the power of the Spirit to reveal its presence in all that you eat. Discern for me, O, Spirit, The body of my Lord ; I eat thee, I drink thee, I live by thy Word. He that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast (Prov. xv, 15). Nothing worrisome or vexatious should ever be discussed at meal time. A silent invocation for the realization of their Good working in and through their lives should be breathed for those who come to breakfast with a scowl and a complaint, and it is often in the power of the captain of the house-ship to steer her charge clear from the reefs and rocks of inharmonious conversation. One of the opportunities for the cultivation of patience and self-control is in dish-washing. Certain truth- students have found that they get their most inspiring thoughts when engaged in this common task. The very mechanical nature of their work allows them to dismiss the material thoughts, and to be open to the Spirit. But this is not day-dreaming. By their fruits you can know the difference. Spiritual meditation takes no goodness from the work, but makes all bright and clean, while 87 SPIRITUAL idle day-dreaming is shown in the neglected and careless results. Special thought can be held for the good of the family appetites when washing dishes. One then can be cleansing away greed, intemperance and idolatry of food. No day should be given wholly over to material work from morning to night. Recreation is just as true activity as work, and Saturday is the day to remember planning some interesting entertainment, so that the day may demonstrate that divine unity of zealous accomplish- ment and merry-making that marks the graceful expres- sion of a happy life. Certain thoughts are working throughout the nation that will solve the servant question. One of them is a recognition of the necessity of making the kitchen, which is the most trying place in the house, a realm of peace and comfort to be respected by all. The loving heart and hand that makes the servant's room as pleas- ant as any in the house will never lack for efficient help. To the kitchen gravitates naturally the thoughts that are the by-products of the family life, and the wise mistress can often save a situation when her servant is at a height of irritation by a silent blessing and a helping hand of love. The Golden Rule is the best one to remember in connection with all that serve you. The word for Saturday is Perfection, that perfection 88 HOUSEKEEPING which is above the opposites of mortal sense, above the good and evil of human judgment, that holiness beyond the ethics of virtue and vice — that perfection which has not evolved, but has ever been and always will be per- fect, the same yesterday, to-day and forever. Fill up the measure with a sinless life of love, wholly blameless, sanctified even as Christ is sanctified. " Be ye perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." I am perfect, for my source is Perfection itself. " All things are now ready." " Enter ye into the joy of your Lord." Meet every unredeemed state with the declaration, " It is finished." Identify every form of good with its perfection in God. Uplift your whole world by the power of truth, and so finish the work which your Father has given you to do. CLOSING WORD nTBE vision of Truth is of one day, endless, all light, in which all expression is gloriously complete. Its creative method is blissful wishing that is perpetually gratified. The out- breathings and in-breathings of the Almighty Expressor are effortless and irresistible Love. The Realm of the inspired and inspiring Word is here, and you sit upon Its throne. The elements rush eagerly to serve You. You say, "Be!" and it is so. As toys in the hands of a babe, as skillful tools in the hands of an artisan, as magical words on the lips of the Christ, so do You use the omnipotent forces that bring all things to pass. With a touch You move what You will, with a look You command all things. The dream of toil has passed like a fleck of mist, and You are awake in the Christ-consciousness, Lord of All. CX2 y 191& One copy del. to Cat. Div.